Secret service suspicion: Suspicion of espionage against assistants – pressure on AfD man Krah is growing

Secret service suspicion
Suspicion of espionage against assistants – pressure on AfD man Krah is growing

Maximilian Krah is the AfD’s leading candidate for the European elections. photo

© Jean-Francois Badias/AP/dpa

An employee of the AfD’s top candidate for the European elections is said to have spied for China. Maximilian Krah sees no reason for personal consequences. The party leadership has scheduled a crisis meeting.

The timing couldn’t be worse for the AfD: just seven weeks before the European elections, their top candidate is defeated The arrest of an employee on suspicion of spying for China put Maximilian Krah under massive pressure – and with him the party. The AfD leaders Alice Weidel and Tino Chrupalla want to meet Krah today for a crisis meeting in Berlin. There will then be a statement. At this point it should also be clear whether the suspect Jian G. is in custody. He was brought before the investigating judge at the Federal Court of Justice yesterday.

What is the suspect accused of?

The Saxony State Criminal Police Office arrested Krah’s employee Jian G. in Dresden. According to the Federal Prosecutor’s Office, the man, who has German citizenship, is accused of acting as an agent for a foreign secret service in a particularly serious case. Since last January, he is said to have repeatedly passed on information about negotiations and decisions in the European Parliament and spied on Chinese opposition members in Germany.

How does Krah react?

Confident. He sees no reason to draw personal consequences: “I am not accused of any wrongdoing. That means we have to clarify what is actually true. I myself will not go to bed and ashes for the alleged wrongdoing of my employee,” answered Krah answered a corresponding question after landing in Berlin. During the day he wrote on X that he had heard about the arrest from the press and that he had no further information. He then underlined something self-evident: “Spying for a foreign state is a serious accusation. If the allegations prove to be true, this would result in the immediate termination of the employment relationship.”

And how does the AfD leadership react?

Chrupalla called the arrest disturbing. The party leadership assures that everything will be done to support the investigation. Chrupalla and Weidel did not respond to the question of whether Krah was still the right top candidate. But it should also be clear to them that many in the party have long viewed the 47-year-old as a problem. Especially since reports about possible connections between Krah and his party colleague Petr Bystron to pro-Russian networks have been causing a stir for weeks. Bystron is number two on the candidate list.

What consequences could the affair have for the AfD?

Dresden right-wing extremism researcher Steffen Kailitz does not expect the allegations to have a major impact on the upcoming elections. “As long as the allegations are not proven in court or charges are brought, they have little effect on the electorate,” Kailitz told the Düsseldorf “Rheinische Post”. In such situations, the AfD relies on martyr status.

Within the party, things could look different. Chrupalla and Weidel are under pressure to explain. The AfD MEP Sylvia Limmer accused them on X of insisting on Krah as the top candidate. “He has been a problem for the delegation for the last five years with his aloof attitude towards China, Russia, the USA, Israel, women and much more,” said Limmer.

Could the leading candidate for the election be replaced?

The basic rule is: If a party has submitted the electoral list on time by March 18th, a change is impossible. There are exceptions under the European Elections Act applicable to German candidates if an applicant with German citizenship dies or is no longer eligible to vote, i.e. if he loses the right to vote because, for example, he has been sentenced to a prison sentence of at least one year for a serious crime. An applicant cannot withdraw from their candidacy.

What’s next?

The Bundestag is expected to deal with the case this week. “And everything else will then also play a role in the parliamentary control committee,” says SPD parliamentary group leader Rolf Mützenich. SPD General Secretary Kevin Kühnert and CDU foreign policy expert Norbert Röttgen have asked Krah to submit affidavits.

Krah should assure that he has not given any information to foreign secret services, Kühnert told the “Tagesspiegel”. Röttgen told the Editorial Network Germany (RND) that Krah must fully inform the public about his relationships with his employee and with Chinese officials.


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